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Is it a cultural thing?


liv4fud
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One of the things that we have noticed (we are from south east asia) is that back home, people usually cook their veggies and eat the fruit raw.

out here, there's a strong influence of the opposite i.e. to eat the veggies raw and cook the fruit

wonder why that is?

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One of the things that we have noticed (we are from south east asia) is that back home, people usually cook their veggies and eat the fruit raw.

out here, there's a strong influence of the opposite i.e. to eat the veggies raw and cook the fruit

wonder why that is?

Well, I can offer a few over-generalizations based on anecdotal evidence... :biggrin:

As far as I've observed, the American obsession with raw veggies is a relatively recent phenomenon. When I was a kid growing up in the 1960s, most veggies were served cooked--often way overcooked; if I recall correctly, the penchant for serving vegetables just steamed until barely cooked but still crispy and bright-colored only started cropping up at our dinner table in the early 1970s. Meanwhile, we always had a tossed green salad with dinner, but as the Tossed Salad topic demonstrates, these salads could be pretty rudimentary. We'd also have a token crudite' tray at festive gatherings, but they were pretty boring, mainly carrot and celery sticks, and most people ignored them.

But over the past few decades a lot of that changed. The American taste for raw and/or extremely lightly cooked veggies just skyrocketed, inspired by a few different waves of interest in healthier and/or more natural cooking, the massive popularization of salad bars, and a growing interest in gourmet cooking in general causing many people to be more into tracking down quality ingredients and treating those ingredients with care. Mind you, though, there are still plenty of areas of the US where people continue to serve veggies cooked to death ...

As to the fruits: I think tryska has got a point about the need to preserve fruits out of season. Much of the US has temperate climates with delimited growing seasons, so traditionally people had to preserve fruits to have a winter supply, by cooking, canning, drying, pickling, etc., and then we just kept liking them that way even after refrigeration and easy shipping made a year-round fruit supply available.

Plus in a lot of the US, it gets cold enough in the winter that cooked fruits are really appealing in that season (baked apples, etc.). Conversely, we've got a strong association between some fruits eaten raw, and the hot summer months (watermelon is one huge example).

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I think you're just hanging out with an odd assortment of Americans and that, on the whole, Americans are much more likely to eat raw fruit and cooked vegetables than vice versa.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I think you're just hanging out with an odd assortment of Americans and that, on the whole, Americans are much more likely to eat raw fruit and cooked vegetables than vice versa.

Well if you come from a culture where there are no such things traditionally like fruit pies and salad bars with lots of raw veggies or raw veggie platters in supermarkets...

It does look like a "cultural thing"

These things are relative you know...

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I think you're just hanging out with an odd assortment of Americans and that, on the whole, Americans are much more likely to eat raw fruit and cooked vegetables than vice versa.

Well if you come from a culture where there are no such things traditionally like fruit pies and salad bars with lots of raw veggies or raw veggie platters in supermarkets...

It does look like a "cultural thing"

These things are relative you know...

agreed and hence I like to point out that I was not trying to hurt or insult anyone's culture just trying to find out more about the one I am in...

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I think you're just hanging out with an odd assortment of Americans and that, on the whole, Americans are much more likely to eat raw fruit and cooked vegetables than vice versa.

Well if you come from a culture where there are no such things traditionally like fruit pies and salad bars with lots of raw veggies or raw veggie platters in supermarkets...

It does look like a "cultural thing"

These things are relative you know...

agreed and hence I like to point out that I was not trying to hurt or insult anyone's culture just trying to find out more about the one I am in...

Not speaking for the rest of my fellow Americans, but I doubt anyone's culture felt insulted. :smile:

Just, outside of the salad thing and the occasional dieter munching carrot sticks (and those Raw Foodists in SF), I don't think of us as eating too many raw vegetables here. And, for every clafouti or apple pie I get through, there are a many more fresh fruits getting munched raw in the Busboy household, and neighborhood around, as far as I can tell.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Maybe if you tell of us of times and types of food. If we understand you situations it might help to explain why the food is eaten the way it is. You just might be exposed to some strange situations.

Living hard will take its toll...
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for example take apples

one of the first fuits fed to childeren are in the form of apple-sauce (cooked apple product)

most of the jams / jellies/preserves have used some form of cooking on the fruits.

apple - pie.... yumm - but u see the trend

yes the people I hung out with would eat a piece here or there of raw fruit

but they always looked as us wierd for eating granny smith's raw (along with others but I believe the granny smiths gave it away).

conversely they would feel that our veggie curries lacked the crunch or textures because they were seemingly overcooked (cooked to death also has been mentioned) I do see that there are a few homes where stew is really cherised and they have slow and long cooked veggies. but more often than not, I have had a meal in which there was a meat, some kind of starch and/or bread alongwith veggies, which were mostly boiled / steamed very lightly and only salt pepper and a little fat sometimes.

(plese see I am all for spices and hence I do feel salt/pepper alone is kind of bland - though once in a while its ok)

this was followed by a dessert mainly of cooked fruit something.

thus came the question / curiousity / thirst for knowledge of trying to find out if there was some tradition that we didn't get

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It's so hard to pin down one particular food culture in the United States. What you might find on the East coast will differ from food in the heartland which is also different than Tex-Mex which varies from food found on the West coast. Even those distinctions are far too broad, to be honest.

Reading your description of what you see in terms of fruit and vegetable consumption is vastly different than what I am used to. The first food for both of my boys was a raw fruit: mashed avocado. That was followed by mashed banana soon afterwards. They didn't have cooked fruit until they were old enough to grab some pie from the Thanksgiving table (and said pie is a once a year thing here). I do have jam on toast occasionally. Raw fruit is something I buy in large quantities depending on the season. I probably munch on at least one apple a day and the boys love grapes, pears, oranges, apples, melons, berries, pineapple, etc. Vegetables I appreciate in any form, raw to lightly cooked to very deeply tender - it depends on the dish. Most nights we have some form of cooked vegetable. As for dessert, if we have any it's more likely to be ice cream or cake than cooked fruit of any kind.

I'm certainly not any kind of representative of U.S. culture, but pretty much all of my friends and family eat similarly to what I stated above, even those who live in other states.

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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for example take apples...one of the first fuits fed to childeren are in the form of apple-sauce (cooked apple product)...

Well, to be fair, babies are fed all forms of cooked and puréed fruit AND vegetables, but that is not so much cultural as it is adaptive to the child's ability to eat. That said, one of the first fruits my daughter ate was mashed banana, UNcooked.

...most of the jams / jellies/preserves have used some form of cooking on the fruits....apple - pie.... yumm - but u see the trend...

That's just one way to preserve the harvest, and we do the same with vegetables.

...yes the people I hung out with would eat a piece here or there of raw fruit but they always looked as us wierd for eating granny smith's raw...

They thought eating a Granny Smith raw was weird? Like Busboy said... you just hooked up with some odd Americans :blink:

Since my mother didn't bake, cooked fruit pies were rare at our house where dessert would most likely consist of raw fruit (grapes, pears, apples) and cheese. A cooked fruit dessert would have been cherry Jello :laugh:

We also ate a lot of fresh fruit for breakfast: halved grapefruit was big at our house, as were cereal with sliced banana or berries (in season), orange wedges (they went so well with tartines au chocolat :rolleyes: ), a bowl of fresh berries with milk...

Vegetables on the other hand were almost ALWAYS cooked, often severly overcooked, until the crudités trend of the 70s.

All that to say... what I've seen/lived mostly in these parts is more raw fruit than cooked, and more cooked veg than raw :smile:

Cheese: milk’s leap toward immortality – C.Fadiman

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One of the things that we have noticed (we are from south east asia) is that back home, people usually cook their veggies and eat the fruit raw.

out here, there's a strong influence of the opposite i.e. to eat the veggies raw and cook the fruit

wonder why that is?

I have been told not to eat raw vegetables in certain countries.. China in particular because unclean water passes through thin skin.. While fruits with hard or tough outsides are ok to eat raw? Is this true?

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...yes the people I hung out with would eat a piece here or there of raw fruit but they always looked as us wierd for eating granny smith's raw...

They thought eating a Granny Smith raw was weird? Like Busboy said... you just hooked up with some odd Americans :blink:

That's my breakfast every morning. :raz:

Bill Russell

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...yes the people I hung out with would eat a piece here or there of raw fruit but they always looked as us wierd for eating granny smith's raw...

They thought eating a Granny Smith raw was weird? Like Busboy said... you just hooked up with some odd Americans :blink:

That's my breakfast every morning. :raz:

And mine... but with cheese :wink:

Cheese: milk’s leap toward immortality – C.Fadiman

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I have been told not to eat raw vegetables in certain countries.. China in particular because unclean water passes through thin skin.. While fruits with hard or tough outsides are ok to eat raw?  Is this true?

Vegetable or fruit, as long as you can peel it and eat the insides, it's likely to be safe to eat raw, assuming it's safe to eat it raw in general.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Considering the ethnic and cultural diversity in North America, I just don't see how you can make any useful generalizations about the state of raw/cooked veggies and fruits on our side of the pond.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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Well, there's definitely cultural and regional differences, but if you want broad generalizations I think your wife's comment is closer to the truth when it comes to veggies than with fruit. I'm Cantonese, so traditionally we never eat veggies raw. It always takes a bit for my relatives to learn to like salads or crudites---if they ever do. In comparision to my relatives, Americans defintely eat raw veggies more often.

With fruit, though, I think that you'll find that it's eaten as much raw as it is cooked, and I actually suspect that in every day life fruit is eaten MORE often raw than cooked.

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